redactX: Next-Level Audio / Video De-Identification for Law Enforcement Applications

Tom Scanland, SVP
Over the last several years, video has become a pervasive and critical component of law enforcement and justice system workflows. In parallel, privacy protection requirements have continued to escalate due to public and legal pressures. Whether from street cameras, body-worn cameras, vehicle mounted cameras, cell phones, citizen contributed, social media, drones, etc., more of this material is being used to document events and support judicial cases. As a result,the need to de-identify bystanders, minors, things not relevant to the case at hand, etc., have only increased. We are at a crossroads of increasing volumes of video and greater number of cases, increasing de-identification requirements, increasing time pressure to have materials ready for court in just a few days, insufficient labor resources to get it done quickly and economically. There are software tools available from a few vendors, but the amount of labor needed to produce a fully redacted video is exceedingly large. Staff spends hours and days drawing boxes on a screen to tell the software what items to track and blur in the output video. Tools available from body-worn camera vendors primarily detect faces under a limited number of poses and circumstances. Defining what to redact and what not to redact, is largely a manual activity.

The community is ready for a better solution.

redactX is dedicated to solving these issues by setting a new standard in the level of automation, flexibility, specificity, and accuracy involved in video redaction. The focus is to reduce the level of manual effort needed to generate an acceptable output file from hours and days to just minutes, in most cases.

“The software comes with a library of standard objects that are detected and can be redacted automatically”

In order to accomplish this, the company has created unique technology that lets users specify, with just a few clicks of the mouse, what to redact and what to keep. Faces are automatically detected at any angle of rotation, including the top or back of someone’s head. Users can choose to redact all faces or just specific individuals, and if so which ones. The information is saved and can be reused on future files. The software also detects and recognizes text strings in over 90 languages.

A user can choose to redact all text strings or just some specific words. Words where only some of the characters are matched can still be redacted, according to user settings.
The software comes with a library of standard objects that are detected and can be redacted automatically. The user just selects from a list which objects they wish to redact and the job is done. If the item is not in the standard library, users can provide a few examples and create their own specific object definition.

Audio can also be redacted. Users have the option of typing text strings that redactX can listen for in video or audio files and then redact the appropriate segments. All of these features individually operate at state-of-the-art levels in terms of both accuracy and speed. Combined, the redactX package provides a level of flexibility and precision, that significantly eases the workflow and decreases the time required of law enforcement personnel.


From its inception, redactX wanted to offer a product that dramatically reduces the amount of effort needed to produce a redacted video file and that raises the bar in terms of automation and accuracy

Complementing these extensive capabilities is an advanced browser-based user interface that adjusts to the level of skill of the user. At its simplest, a user can literally just upload a file, click a button, and redact a video. More complex situations are also just a few clicks away, as needed. Multiple users can access the software at the same time. If the video file is large, a user can just add the job to the queue and receive an e-mail when it’s completed. The software can be installed on customer premises or run in the cloud (AWS GovCloud and others).

“From its inception, redactX wanted to offer a product that dramatically reduced the amount of effort needed to produce a redacted video file while also raising the bar in terms of automation and accuracy. Our customers are telling us that we have achieved this objective. It’s very satisfying to be able to deliver such a real-world solution,”informs Tom Scanland, SVP at redactX.

Company
redactX

Headquarters
Los Altos, CA

Management
Tom Scanland, SVP

Description
redactX is dedicated to solving these issues by setting a new standard in the level of automation, flexibility, specificity, and accuracy involved in video redaction. The focus is to reduce the level of manual effort needed to generate an acceptable output file from hours and days to just minutes, in most cases. In order to accomplish this, the company has created unique technology that lets users specify, with just a few clicks of the mouse, what to redact and what to keep. Faces are automatically detected at any angle of rotation, including the top or back of someone’s head. Users can choose to redact all faces or just specific individuals, and if so which ones.

RedactX